Monday, February 28, 2011

Day 59 and Elizabeth

Named because it reminded me a lot of those big neck frills That you would see in paintings on Queen Elizabeth. Did people really wear those? They always looked a bit uncomfortable. This fun gently ruffled scarf is not uncomfortable thankfully. I was actually aiming for a dickie, but overdid the increases. I still like the way it looks and hey, I still have that dickie idea hanging out for another day! :D

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Day 58 and the Mesh

Here is a crochet mesh that I usually use for market bags. It's very open and surprisingly strong and why shouldn't it be worn as well? No reason at all, says I!

I didn't use a pattern and I didn't really keep very good track of this one, but I think if you're even a beginner crocheter, you could wing this one.
For the foundation row, make a chain about as long as the scarf should be wide. Single crochet into the 5th chain, chain 5, then until you reach the end single crochet into the 3rd chain, and chain 5 repetitively.
For the body rows, Chain 5 and single crochet into the next chain loop to the end of the row.
For the final row, chain 3 and single crochet into the next chain loop and repeat to the end of the row.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Day 57 and the ShortRow Ruffles

Can you even really call these ruffles? This was a very VERY wide short row repeat so the ruffles are very spread out resulting in a lazy meandering scarf rather than a full fluffy ruffle. Still, I think that's the best word I could choose.

In this case, I cast on 12 and did a short row wedge starting by knitting 10, turning and going all the way back, then 9, then back, then 8 and so on until I had no more stitches left. Then I did 3 rows even and did another short row wedge starting from the other side. In this way the short row shaping traded sides and made sort of a wiggly scarf that folded over on itself in a very loose ruffle. If you happen to be able to knit left handed, this would be a great time to use your ability. Turning after just a few stitches on each row can get very tedious.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Health and Happiness

Friends, I just wanted to give a quick shout out thank you to the well wishes for my health. It's definitely cold and flu season and I got hit pretty hard. Happily I'm pretty much back up to speed except for the frog in my throat. Luckily, you all don't get to hear my ridiculous froggy-throated Joan Rivers impression which when sick is absolutely spot on.

You guys are the best and I couldn't be happier to know even just via the internet such awesome caring people. Sinead, Felicity, I'm looking at you! And all my twitter friends too who wished good health to me and my sicky boyfriend Kevin. Love to you all!

Day 56 and the Fluffles

Yet another hairpin lace idea. This was a very easy technique that resulted in a somewhat complicated looking puffy cobweb ruffled edge.
I started with the Boa by holding 3 strands together and doing a basic hairpin lace row. When the scarf was long enough, I cut 2 of the 3 strands and with the working strand, did a single crochet in every single loop. Keep in mind even though the loops were worked as one during the hairpin lace portion, each loop from the group of 3 is worked separately to make the ruffle. Chains at each end helped get the height to reach the loops, though I think it would have been equally effective to jump straight from one end to the other as the ruffle would have hidden the jump.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Day 55 and the Silly Willy

It could have been a very elegant ruffled collar, but I used fun colors and so instead it's a silly willy funny ruffled collar. I still think it's awesome but best suited to someone with a very bold and sunny personality!

It was incredibly easy to do. Cut a rectangle that's about twice the circumference of the neck that needs warmed and as wide as you wish. Mine happened to be striped so I didn't need to measure and just followed the stripes as if they were cut lines. Cut very small snips in the center of the rectangle and through the little snips you'll thread another strip of either fabric, lacing, leather, or whatever cord you like. The collar will ruffle up a little bit and you'll just tie the thread into a little bow and be the sunniest funniest scarf wearer around.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Day 54 and the Pocket

You all know I'm a rather poor sewist. I'm working on it, but to really get any better, I think I need more patience and a teacher. Still, I can accomplish simple things! Using fleece as a background and fleece as a pocket, there is very little preparation needed and the execution is ridiculously easy.

Here I picked a zany pattern and cut a rectangle to the length and width that I wanted. Then I rotated the pattern and cut a pair of squares to be the pockets. I didn't even measure. They were just barely smaller than the scarf.

I left a VERY wide seam more than an inch and without folding or pinning sewed right around three edges. The top was left unsewn of course so that it was the opening of the pocket. I did the exact same thing on the other end of the scarf. Then, I took a pair of scissors and fringed one flap of the seam I just made around all three sides. It hides any imperfection in sewing such as curvy seams and it makes the pocket stand out so it's clear that it's a pocket.

Stick your hands in on cold days or carry small items like your music player or your lunch money.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Day 53 and Boa

I'm just really stuck on hairpin lace right now! When you really get working on it, you realize just how versatile it is. When you make a single motif and don't do anything with the loops, they twist and flip all over for this very fun faux boa look. To make it appear even fuller, I used 3 strands of yarn held together as one and a hook a size smaller than I would ordinarily have used.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Day 52 and Hair Curlers

.......... ooooooo scary! I'll fix it sometime :)
This is another hairpin lace pattern, and is nothing more than the basic stitch. The difference here is that the loops are crocheted with increases and decreases in mind to create the gently zig zagging motif.

It's very easy to do by simply doing one single crochet in 3 loops a number of times in a row followed by doing ch 3 on either side of a group of three loops into which 3 single crochets are worked. Along the opposite edge, the increases and decreases are done the same way taking care to line up so that they compliment on the opposite side.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Day 51 and Hairpin

Hi there! I broke out one of my hairpin pace looms! When I first learned to crochet it was because I happened to find my mom's stash of crochet tools one day. I was pretty young at the time and the lace loom was taken apart to fit nicely in her storage places. It took me a long time to figure out what the heck it was or how to use it. I'm glad I did because it's a very fast and very satisfying technique.

This particular scarf was made with only one length of hairpin lace in the normal pattern set at 3 inches wide. I didn't count loops at all. I just kept going until I was happy with the length. At the end, I took the piece off the loom but kept the hook in place, chained 5 to get to the height of a loop and finished it in the same manner as broomstick lace.
3 single crochets into 3 loops of hairpin lace held as one. Just make sure to get all the loops in the same direction, with the same twist, and in the same order.
At the other end, 5 ch, 1 sc into center rib, 5 ch and finish the other side.
Ch 5, sc into the center rib at the other end and you'll have a nice symmetrical scarf and it probably won't take more than 2 or 3 hours depending on just how long you want that scarf to be!

In other news, I managed to lose my favorite SD card between yesterday and today. I'm a little annoyed by it, but what can I do except search?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Day 50 and What was She Thinking?

This is insane. What was I thinking? It was a good try! The concept was pretty cool! The execution was a little...shaky. I bet if this were done in only fleece with only 2 very bright colors so that it was clearly a school spirit type crazy scarf, then it would work for me. As it stands, it's totally not my style, but I think there's probably a niche out there somewhere.

Anyway, I cut a bunch of strips around 14-16 inches long and in various widths depending on the thickness of the fabric. I used scraps and hems that were cut from tees and strips of fleece and anything that wouldn't fray. Then I put one strip across the center of another strip and tied the one below it into an easy double knot. I put a new strip across the center and tied the previously untied strip. I kept going until I was out of strips and then for the final knot, tucked it through the very first knot to make an unbroken collar.

It's insane. I know. I'm cool with it.


In other news, I'm not back at 100 percent but I do feel a lot better and should be able to fix and make make pretty and add descriptions to the last few entries.

Wish me good health, friends!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Day 49 and Rawr

Well Darn it. My mannequin doesn't have a head so the hood looks weird and my head doesn't have shoulders so the scarf looks weird. Suffice to say this looks best when someone is actually wearing it.
On the mend folks! I promise I'll go back and end up rephotographing and writing decent descriptions for everything for the last 4 or 5 or however many days it's been.

Lord knows they need it.

--------------- Edit to add a description!----------

So I'm feeling heaps better and I just wanted to give a short description to this entry. I found in my stash an unfinished pillow made with fleece. It was the no sew kind with a fringe all the way around the edge and the fringe is knotted to the second piece to make a pillowcase. I had only knotted halfway around and I happened to notice that it functioned a lot like a hood. With a fresh piece of fleece, I cut a much longer section and only knotted by the head to make a hood with attached scarf. It was very fast and very easy and I absolutely love the funny frill on top. it could be like a dinosaur frill or a short punk mohawk. Fun either way.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Day 47 and the Scrunchie

So very sick. I'll make this pretty and descriptive another time when I don't feel like death warmed over.

----------Edit for description!-----------------

I'm feeling much better now and had to fix this post. New picture, add a description and hey, we're back in business.

This is another cowl knit in the round, but this time I've added cables in various places. They aren't lined up cables, but an all over pattern that makes an interesting scrunched up texture without any distinguishable cables.

This would be a good idea for a game knitting piece. Follow this link for more info on the concept.
Choose your key moments and perform a 6 stitch cable everytime the key moment comes up.

Having been ridiculously sick at the time, I definitely cut this one short. If I were to make another one, I'd have added another 4 or 5 inches in length.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Day 46 and Gaga

I'm not sure what I was doing when I first started this scarf, but the end product strongly reminds me of the big hairbow made of hair that Lady Gaga wore in her early days of fame. What's interesting is the construction. This is not a traditionally tied bow, but a keyhole scarf. One end is a half bow and sewn into place, the other end is mostly scarf with a half bow at the other end which fits through the ring that is pretending to be the bow knot.

This one has too much involvement for me to draft it in one day, but next time I have the time, I'll post this on ravelry for your enjoyment.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Day 45 and TotusMel

This one is named after a fellow etsian who happens to be a needle tatting artist. Tatting is one needle art I've yet to figure out, and yet I can still draw inspiration from it. TotusMel has recently had the honor of having some of her pieces show on the runways of New York! Take a moment to check out her shop if you like this style because you'll certainly be blown away by the inspiration pieces.

In this case, I choose a nice lace crochet pattern and made it just long enough to wrap around my neck. Fit yours as snug or as loose as you like with your favorite lace pattern! Separately I crocheted a cord which was smooth and easy to lace through the loops at the edges of the pattern.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


I have this habit of writing very long-winded reviews of certain things. I apologize ahead of time for the length! And I, Amanda, have a habit of butting in using italics. Kevin Amanda

I had been to DisneyWorld twice before the trip this year: once when I was way too young to remember anything about it, then later in 1995 when I visited with my family. But the '95 trip was only for one day, and only the Magic Kingdom, and there wasn't really any research (as far as which attractions are the must-dos) put into it, so I wasn't left with much in the Magical Memories Department. So this year was my chance to make up for that and do DisneyWorld "the proper way," with five-and-a-half days to cover all four of the parks, as thoroughly as possible! Starting with...

The Magic Kingdom

One of the first things we saw was a parade made especially for rainy weather, which I liked. Because how can you be upset about rain when the song is telling you to "Splish splash! Tinkle tinkle!"

I loved the improvisation-based technology of Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, and appreciated that the improv actors in both of the showings we saw (well, Amanda and I just had to see it again later on a different day!) were actually quite good at it. I submitted a joke that I made up just to see if it would make it into the show, and sure enough it did! I'm not telling you what it was, though. Well now you HAVE to tell me which joke it was! Update! I didn't get it lol!

Stitch's Great Escape! was one of the weaker attractions, but well-done for what it is. There are a lot of attractions that can be equally enjoyed by adults and kids, but this is one that really is mostly made for the younger set. And that's very ironic because it was originally Alien which was too scary for most kids to begin with. Even I was pretty startled back before the rehash.

I don't mind telling you that we went on Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin three times. I suppose at this point I should mention that, since we chose the fourth week in January to visit DisneyWorld, the parks were not nearly as crowded as they would be if we had chosen, say, July. Frankly, we were spoiled with the line non-waits. The wait for BLSRS, for example, each time was only as long as it took to walk through the queue area. Do I even need to stress how great it felt?
Anyway, I do enjoy slow-moving shooting gallery game/rides. It's essentially the same as King's Island's Scooby Doo ride*, except that one didn't seem to make perfect sense. When has the Mystery, Inc. Gang ever shot at any ghoulies? And since the ghosts always turn out to be humans, then...well, I'm digressing. You would think that trying to aim a tiny periodically appearing red laser dot (amidst a handful of other identical red dots) at moving targets while in a track-trailing and spinning car would be frustrating and annoying, yet somehow it manages to be really fun. I don't get it!

[*Now that I'm looking it up, it turns out that this has been genericized, as all traces of Hanna Barbera and Nickelodeon characters are now gone from King's Island. A lot of the rides that used to be Hanna Barbera themed are now Peanuts themed, which makes me imagine how funny it would be if they had tried to incorporate the Peanuts characters into this spooky dark ghost-shooting ride. First of all, duh it would be about the Great Pumpkin! And second of all, what?? Peanuts? But I thought Peanuts were a Cedar Point thing! When did Cedar Faire Inc buy out King's Island? Have they always owned it?]

I hope Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress is never removed from the park. It's corny and amusingly approaching out-of-dateness, but that's what's so great about it! It predicted that, in "the family of the future," a grandmother could enjoy playing video games, even though I think it was meant to be a joke at the time! Also I think it's one of the best chances to get a good, up-close look at the classic Disney animatronics. It was so much so that I kind of had to resist the urge to just walk up onto the stage and poke around at the set.

The actual Space Mountain ride is waaay better than the video game. Holy crap! There's a video game???

Mickey's Philharmagic might just be my favorite 4-D film; I'll tell you which is my second-favorite when I get to it. But I don't think there's anything I can say about this one that might potentially spoil it for those who haven't experienced it. Let's just say I highly recommend it!

Speaking of spoilers, SPOILER ALERT: It turns out that it's a small world after all. A small, small world.

Tony's Town Square was a great first-day restaurant. We were definitely spoiled. The recent emptying of the park due to rain left this restaurant over staffed and therefore we had the fastest service of the entire trip. And our server Parvil sang Happy Birthday and lit a candle in Kevin's gelato.

I want to mention the Disney Dining Plan. We had originally planned to take the trip the week before such that my birthday would fall on it, but our trip adviser had found a special promotion that would allow us to have free dining for the entire stay if we pushed it to the next week. Let me just say that the next time we go (whenever that may be), I hope we can get the credit-based dining plan again.

I wouldn't be too surprised if at some point in the future the Swiss Family Treehouse is removed or renovated to fit the theme of another movie. And in 3-D!! And more interactive. It was nice to look at, but I really wanted to play with things, but it was all behind ropes that were not to be crossed.

I just want to say that our Jungle Cruise skipper reminded me of Paul of Paul & Storm. Also, I wonder what it would be like to listen to Weird Al's Skipper Dan on a personal music player while riding the Jungle Cruise.

Here's a question for the comments section. How do you pronounce "Pirates of the Caribbean? Do you say "ca-ribyan" or "cara-bee-in?" I think the latter sounds more pirate-y somehow, but I caught Amanda using the former. Anway, since this ride is rather dark, I recommend preparing a "pirate eye." Cover or close one eye and keep it closed for several minutes before you go inside, then when you enter, open it and close the other. Your cones will now be prepared for the darkness! Or just buy a scurvy eye patch from the shop before entering. It's the perfect pirate eye preparer!

The Enchanted Tiki Room (Under New Management!) was closed. Aww.

I could ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad all day. It is just my perfect level of roller-coaster tolerance, and a blast to boot!

Country Bear Jamboree was, um...well, let's just keep an eye out for the IDGet comic about this one.

Three hundred years from now, The Hall of Presidents will still exist, and the Imagineers of the Future will have to find a way to fit all 100+ Audio-Animatronic presidents on the stage at once. And the Audience of the Future will have to listen to each one's name being stated in the roll call. One at a time. Slowly. I predict by then the caretaker presidents will be phased out... bless their hearts.
And then the presidents will of course gain sentience and kill everyone.

Speaking of dead people, The Haunted Mansion is one of my favorite rides, though I'm not really sure why. Maybe it's because the song is so darn catchy. It totally needs to be played on the radio around Halloween. Also, if I was allowed to pick one "cast member" job, it would probably be this attraction's host. Staring creepily at all of the guests sounds like fun!

Peter Pan's Flight, Snow's White's Scary Adventures, and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh are all sort of variations on the same experience, but if I had to pick a favorite, I'd probably go for Pooh's. I wonder if the part about Heffalumps and Woozles confuses the younger fans, now that there is an actual Heffalump character in the series. Also, why does the store into which the ride leads not sell honey? In adorable little Pooh-shaped squeeze bottles? Or honey straws! Which is what I really wanted.

Besides the furniture being hard and uncomfortable, it would be pretty great to live in a Toontown-style house. What? Minnie's House totally had soft usable chairs!
The Barnstormer at Goofy's Wiseacre Farm
is fun and too short, but is it worth going through the line for the ridiculous visual gags along the way.

And if you ever get to see Wishes Nighttime Spectacular, all future Fourth of July hometown fireworks will seem like piddly little sparklers by comparison. Just so you know. I swear to you, the imagineers who orchestrate the end of day displays are beyond ARTISTS. They're more like psychologists who know exactly what music and what images to show to make a person all choked up. I didn't even have a good view and I was still ready to cry cry cry.

Attractions in which we chose not to partake: Astro Orbiter, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, The Magic Carpets of Aladdin (these three are all pretty much the same ride, right?), Cinderella's Royal Carousel, Frontierland Shooting Arcade, Liberty Square Riverboat, Tom Sawyer Island, Mad Tea Party (I would've but Amanda dislikes spinniness), Splash Mountain (it was not hot enough for a wet ride), Tomorrowland Speedway, Tomorrowland Transit Authority, Walt Disney World Railroad. I suppose a recurring theme here might be "riding around in a circle outdoors."


I highly recommend any Kim Possible fan or even person-who-has-occasionally-seen-Kim-Possible-but-enjoyed-it-when-he-has to try out the Kim Possible Save the World Missions. You basically follow instructions to different countries of the showcase from a programmed cell phone, and you can use it to activate various "events" at different locations. And part of the fun is seeing the reactions to the events of the other people around who aren't privy to the game! I would recommend though, that if anyone wants to try it, they should set aside time to do the missions all in one go (perhaps after perusing the showcases at leisure), because the Kimmunicator does not have a sleep mode and gets impatient if left unused for a certain amount of time by abandoning your current mission.

At Innoventions, I got to take part in a funny game show about velcro! And we also briefly tried out Segways for the first time! And posed for a silly green screen video game together! Please please please check out the photos. This was so very worth participating in despite the fact that it was the "shill our products" section of Epcot.

At Club Cool we tasted sodas from around the world, a couple of which were good, others were decent, but the Italian soda "Beverly" is downright nasty and I suspect only included as a cruel joke.

I suppose I don't have much to say about each individual showcase pavilion, but I will say that Japan's was my favourite shopping (well, just browsing in my case) stop. If they had the weird-flavor (like wasabi) Doritos, I would've bought those, though. It also turns out that you can't get poutine from the Canada pavilion (Amanda asked) and though I found no Twiglets at the United Kingdom, I did try Jammie Dodgers as a consolation. We enjoyed lunch at U.K.'s The Rose and Crown, where Amanda has fish and chips and I bangers and mash. And as I was still wearing my birthday button from the day before I got another song! By the way, all of the restaurants at which we sat down and dined had what I would call perfect portions. They were large portions, but not so large that you felt stuffed and roll-y afterwards, but just good and satisfied.

I watched the rear screens for most of the O Canada! 360 Circle-Vision film because I felt bad that no one else seemed to be watching them. I felt a bit dizzy because I was turning round and round and back and forth trying to look at everything all at once!

Captain EO. Oh, man oh man. So the thing is, I had never seen and Amanda was eagerly looking forward to re-seeing Honey, I Shrunk the Audience. It wasn't until we were actually at the building where it used to be that we find out it had recently been replaced. It turns out that this happened just this past July, which is confounding because I even remember having mailed to us custom park maps, which did show HIStA. Even if I made those maps before July, you would think they would know that it was going to be replaced soon and make some sort of footnote for it (as in, "Oh by the way this won't be here for long just so you know").
This leads me to looking up its history: It debuted back in 1986 and ran until it was replaced by Honey I Shrunk the Audience in 1994. So Captain EO was given about eight years, with HISTA getting twice as much time afterward. And I am surprised that "Honey..." even lasted that long, considering the film it's based on frankly hasn't been terribly relevant for a long time.
But is Captain EO relevant enough for its revival? Aside from Michael Jackson's enduring popularity...nnno. It's pretty bad. Like, not "Bad" bad, but like Nostalgia Critic review bad. But I actually enjoyed it for its badness, especially since it happened to be the type of bad movie that I can easily laugh at (not with).
If you want an idea what it's like consider:
-It was written and produced by George Lucas
-It features Lucas-esque creatures
-Michael Jackson plays the sort of fantasy version of himself seen in his music videos and uses the power of his music to transform
-There is a bumbling elephant-thing named Hooter whose sole purpose, it seems, is to sneeze on you.
We were surprised to later stumble upon plush toys of Hooter and one of the other Captain EO characters (a butterfly-cat-mouse named Fuzzball) in a couple of the park shops! But what would surprise me even more is if we actually saw anybody buying or carrying either of them around. Did you look that name up or did you actually remember it from the show? Because really? Fuzzball? Really?

So because I haven't seen Honey, I Shrunk the Audience, I didn't get at the time that the character Nigel Channing, who hosts Journey Into Imagination With Figment, is a carried over character from the other show. This could be one case against doing away with HISTA.
The ride sure does try to be as whimsical as possible! But what exactly is Figment? Channing says he "created" Figment, but does that mean he created him using his imagination, or is Figment a work of science designed to demonstrate the effects of imagination, or...I don't know. It doesn't really make sense but there's a part of the ride with an upside-down bathroom on the ceiling and that makes up for everything.

The Land Pavilion has an odd distinct smell whenever I enter it. It reminds me of hospital food, specifically the type you get as a meal in the tray with the foil edges you peel back to uncover the paper lid, you know the type? I don't know if the smell was from the restaurant(s) or the plant-growing area, but it hit me even stronger than the scents piped into some of the WDW rides and shows. Like, for example...

Soarin' was praised and praised in all of the WDW vacation books I'd read, and did not fail to disappoint. And it also goes to show that you don't need 3D to make a film-based ride engaging and immersive!

Living With the Land made me hungry for strange types of foodplants that I had never heard of before.

The Circle of Life
was a nice enough film about the impact of humans on the Earth, but it's another for the "I won't be surprised if it gets updated/replaced soon" bin.

Mission: Space was a blast, and I thought the tamer "orange" version that we did was too tame, and would've liked to try the diehard "green" version, but Amanda wasn't up for that. Maybe next time :) But we had a lot of fun "getting into character" throughout. Would you like to see our video postcard?

To me the most fascinating part of Ellen's Energy Adventure was the mechanics of the ride seats, the way that the people sitting to the left or right of you become the people in front of or behind you after the short film ends and the ride gets going. Apart from that and the energy "lesson" (I know it sounds weird, but it wasn't as educational as I was hoping it would be), it doesn't really offer anything that you can't get from another ride. Well, at least you do get to see an out-of-date Jeopardy! set and Alex Trebek with a mustache.

Speaking of things that I expected to be more educational than they were, I'm not sure if anything was really taught in the interactive Turtle Talk With Crush. But I guess the educational content is determined by the questions the kids ask, and the questions at our showing were, um. Well, one of the questions was "Are you in Nemo?" and I'll leave that without comment. But the bulk of the presentation is pretty much an extended audience warm-up routine. Which is not to say it isn't fun and worth attending, though.

The Seas with Nemo and Friends ends with a "How did they do that effect" that, to me, is at least as impressive as the effect that ends Haunted Mansion. And come to think of it, the rides are kind of similar in structure. Hm, I call copycat!

Not liking seafood didn't prevent me from enjoying Coral Reef Restaurant. I had the excellent dish called wild mushroom lasagna, which I can only dream to find in the menu of any other restaurant I ever go to. Seriously. Are there any restaurants in the Parma, Ohio area that serve wild mushroom lasagna? Wrapped in phyllo dough too. Oooo fancy!

Let me talk a bit about the Photopass service. It is a terrific idea: numerous professional photographers around the parks can take pictures of you in front of landmarks or with characters. All of the photos taken during your stay are sent to the same account via the free Photopass card that you hand to each photographer. You can later view the pictures online, but unfortunately to get prints or even download them costs quite a pretty penny. To give you an idea: to download one of the pictures costs fifteen bucks. Yep.

At the Epcot Character Spot, we had our pictures taken with Pluto, Donald, Mickey, Minnie and Goofy (no Daisy, though. She must be to Disney character gatherings what Betty Rubble is to Flintstones chewable vitamins)! I wish I could have taken a video of Donald reacting to a girl who was wearing a Donald Duck butt hat. And we did end up getting a backwards Goofy picture! But it's on Photopass...

Spaceship Earth is probably my favorite audio animatronics-based ride and is an awesome way to get an idea of just how huge that giant "golf ball" is. A newly updated version lets you select your own personalized future. Here's ours!

Illuminations: Reflections of Earth was worth the colder-than-I-expected temperature I had to endure during it. I suppose at this point in this post Amanda will comment about how I am a "cold baby." You are a cold baby. I was wearing a thinner jacket and was totally fine. Come on, it was FLORIDA. hee hee

Things we did not do: Reflections of China (never got around to it) and Test Track (I think Amanda was scaredy-pants)

Disney's Hollywood Studios

Toy Story Midway Mania has got to be without a doubt and by far the most popular attraction at the moment (not counting the night time celebrations...though, maybe still...). Before noon it had run out of Fastpasses. And this was during a light January week - remember what I said earlier about the other rides having pretty much no lines? So this is the only ride for which we waited a long time in line. But the queue is charming enough that it's hard to mind. Where else can you see a life-size ViewMaster reel? And yes, the ride itself is totally worth the wait. Whereas Space Ranger Spin uses a button for its shooting, TSMM has you pulling a ball on a string. Though this helps the game feel more interactive, man does it wear out your arm! The only first person shooting game I've ever beat Kevin on! He never made it past beaver, but I got to wildcat!

Muppet Vision 3-D is a blast, and I loved it mostly for the "real" outside-of-the-screen characters. Sweetums's appearance makes me wonder why there aren't any Muppet character greeting opportunities. Is it because they wouldn't talk? Also, Waldo C. Graphic is a parody of Figment, right?

Sounds Dangerous Starring Drew Carey was the second show-featuring-a-stand-up-comedian-turned-self-titled-sitcom-star-now-known-for-being-the-host-of-a-daytime-television-series that we saw. It was, well, pretty much what I expected. Do you think people are going to get used to seeing Trim Drew Carey on The Price is Right and then be a bit jarred whenever they see him as Bigger Drew Carey in anything older he's been in? In case you have to ask... and I did... the other person was Ellen. I am clearly not all there when it comes to sitcom stars.

The Great Movie Ride was, well, great! We saw the "gangster" version. I like to think of what live-action movies of today will be considered "classic" enough decades later to be possibly added to the Great Movie Ride. Any suggestions, commentators? I was thinking maybe Titanic? ET?

I haven't played Epic Mickey, but I figure seeing Walt Disney: One Man's Dream is the next big thing. Maybe better?

Voyage of the Little Mermaid is a stage show, not to be confused with the upcoming Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid, which will be a ride in the Magic Kingdom. The show is a fun treat, but I'm glad we saw it before another certain aquatic stage show that I'll mention later, as that one blew VotLM out of the water. But still see it if you're a Little Mermaid fan.

I want The Magic of Disney Animation to stay around forever, but what of the new-fangled computers and things?
After the "show" part, we met and gret Lotso! And yes, he does smell like strawberries! While we were waiting in line he was excused to leave the room for a few moments. I'm sure he needs to use the restroom every once in a while, but I bet he has to periodically freshen up his strawberriness too.
There was also a meet-and-greet area for Mr. and Mrs. Incredible. It says a lot for the popularity of Pixar movies that their characters from 2004 are still making the rounds in WDW. I'm just sayin', it's not like I saw any G-Force or Meet the Robinsons characters hangin' around.

I'm glad I was able to dine at 50's Prime Time Café even if only to see the set-up itself. I had seen the 1950s-style-home look in photos before, but what surprised me was how well the layout of the restaurant itself was made to be like one really big family house. As for the theming
from the actors, we didn't get much from our server but I did get a kick out out of watching the table across from us. It makes sense in hindsight that the concept works better for large families and kids than for, say, a grown-up couple. And I guess it didn't help that I kept my elbows off the table and ate my veggies on my own anyway. And I've always been a dish stacker.

I had already seen a video of a lot of the Lights, Motor, Action! Extreme Stunt Show, and I'm afraid that spoiled the experience of the live show, since there weren't really any surprises for me. But it is still all very impressive. It turns out that the show has its own music soundtrack, even though I could've sworn the soundtrack was just VRRROOOOOOOM-ROOOOM, ERRRRRRGGG! BANG-BANG-FWOOOMP, SQUEEEEEEAL, etc.

The Studio Backlot Tour is Disney World's way of saying, "What, you want to go to Universal Studios? F that! Here, we'll give you a thing that's just like half of Universal. You'll like it." I think the only movie prop I recognized was the souped-up lawnmower from Home Improvement, and I don't know whether that says more about my knowledge of movies or about Disney's influence with live-action movies and television shows. I agree with this a lot. Also I was a little sad that it was too cold for audience participation in the pre-show, because really, that's what I remember as one of the best parts.

The Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure is still up! What are the odds that it'll soon be rebranded the "Gnomeo and Juliet Movie Set Adventure"? That's actually really clever and I'm proud of you for thinking of it.

One of the minor things we wanted to experience was the Disney World turkey leg. A lot of the vacation books mentioned that certain food vendors sell turkey legs, and you know it must be "a thing" because you can also buy a t-shirt with an image of a cartoon turkey leg and the simple straightforward caption "turkey leg." So we used one of our counter service credits (note: an entire turkey leg, it turns out, is meant for one person and we later learned that one turkey leg is on average 1.5 lbs or 680 grams for you metric folks) and shared one as we waited in line for Fantasmic. This would turn out to be a great idea.
Fantastic was easily my favourite of the nighttime spectaculars. And I'm not just saying that because it's the only one of the three in which the audience gets seats! Anyone who sees this has no choice but to be amazed and entranced and in awe. It's like a law of physics or something. What with the explosions and the water and the videos and the stunts and the dragon that -you know what? Just make sure you see it for yourself.

Also as we exited Fantasmic, we choose to leisurely stroll through the shops instead of allowing ourselves to be herded by the many many other people straight to the park exit. We decided a good snack would one of the giant chocolate covered rice crispie treats. Yes, we only needed one and the counter worker graciously split it for us. Each HALF was bigger than a rubik's cube and it only counted for ONE snack credit. Sheesh!

The no-gos:
American Idol Experience (You know, I would have been interested in this if I knew for sure I was going to be one of the three on stage but that's about it.) , Journey Into Narnia: Prince Caspian (for both: NOT interested), Star Wars (was undergoing renovation. B'OH!), Rock & Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (I was skittish about both), Beauty & the Beast - Live on Stage, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular (never got around to either) We did try to see Indy by hopping parks on one of the last days, but darn it, we didn't check the times guide and ended up a mere 10 minutes late to get in.

Animal Kingdom

The Kilimanjaro Safari is basically the land version of Jungle Cruise, but taken more seriously. And with real animals. I was amused by the storyline built into it. I was impressed with how natural the surroundings were! I was also impressed by the way they create opportunities for you to see the animals by making the out in the open spots the most desirable for the animals to stay in.

Is it weird that of all the different types of birds featured in the Flights of Wonder, the one that most entertained me was the chicken? Perhaps because I'm partial to chickens, but also because it was hilariously the least exotic of them all. Also, the idea of a chicken chasing a person around is hilarious. Also, one of the hawks flew so close to us I quite literally felt the wind from its wings as it flew by.

Festival of the Lion King is not to be missed, especially for the monkeys. And the talking walking Timon, which intrigues me, anyway!

What seemed like I had read most about It's Tough to Be a Bug! was that, for every show, there is at least one crying child. And sure enough! But wow, it does seem as if the show does as much as it can to go out of its way to try to terrify small children. There are bugs in front of you! Bugs above you! Bugs in your back! Bugs on the floor! BUGS EVERYWHERE THERE'S NO ESCAPE!!
Though I'm thinking that if it weren't for the horrified screams, the show itself would only be that much less remarkable.. Am I a bad person for thinking the screaming terrified children were hilarious? Maybe. I'm okkay with that.

The Conservation Station was one of the least crowded character meeting spots, and I sort of felt kind of bad that not many other people (besides us) wanted to meet Jiminy Cricket. He's a classic character, people!

Finding Nemo: The Musical was better than I expected it to be! It seems a missed opportunity that it doesn't lead into a store at which you can buy the CD. But we did eventually find it! I think if not for it being only 30 minutes long, it'd be worthy of being shown in venues outside of "the World." If it were to be extended into a full 1 or 2 hour show, I would absolutely go to see it again or try out for it if it came to a theatre near me.

If you love bumpiness, you'll love the Dinosaur ride! But really, it is terrifically fun. Just...not as fun for those with stiff necks! Loved it. All I have to say about that. Loved it. Also around this time I was thinking it would be very convenient to be able to put the automatically taken ride photos on your photo pass card.

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade was my favorite parade if only for a bit where I caught Timon flirting at a distance with a park guest. I didn't realize he was such a ladies' man!

The "Maybe Another Time"s: We avoided Kali River Rapids for wetness reasons. TriCeratop Spin is, yes, another going-around-in-circles-at-a-height-outside ride. Primeval Whirl was closed, and Amanda seemed uninterested anyway. Nah, I woulda tried it :) As for Expedition Everest: Legend of the Forbidden Mountain? I was considering trying it out - I figured, hey I can tackle the other mountain-based rides - until lunchtime when, from across the water at the Flame Tree Barbecue, we could hear the screams of the people riding Everest. And also to see just how huge the thing is. I was, um, kinda scared.

The Resorts

We stopped at the Animal Kingdom Lodge for dinner at the highly-praised Boma: Flavors of Africa. Which was easily worth its praise! I had heard a lot about the superb zebra domes, but the other similar truffles were equally delicious.

I can't not mention the on-site hotel at which we stayed, right? Disney's Pop Century Resort had a lot of great Stuff-on-the-Walls and Giant Decorate things to look at. The room itself was ... budget. Nothing bad about it, just very basic. Table chairs beds TV bathroom. I couldn't help but notice that the TV showed only local television channels and Disney channels (ABC, Disney Channel, ESPN, Disney XD). Are the television channel lists edited to only cycle through those or do they get a special cable package made especially for Disney? And how can we get in on that package???
As you may or may not know, the Pop Century buildings are divided into different "decade" sections. We chose 80s just because we like 80s things, but in hindsight it would've been more practical to choose the 60s so that our walks to and from the shuttle curb and dining area would be shorter. Pop Century's dining, incidentally is... well, not great in contrast to our other Disney dining experiences. Though they do offer waffles in the design of the Pop Century logo, which is darn pretty special. Do all of the Disney resorts each serve their own style of waffle?

We visited the Contemporary Resort for a dinner at Chef Mickey's. I couldn't help but have a character meal, for novelty's sake! The most memorable part of the buffet meal was definitely the Mickey Truffle.

Downtown Disney

I got to go to the Lego store! Oh and there were some other stores we went to I guess. But, Lego store! I was a big fan of Little MissMatched which sells nothing but socks, tights, gloves and armwarmers and other things that don't match. Plus everything came in sets of three so not only is it okkay if you lose one, but you could buy any number of trios and they would all go with all the others! I already want more and will be on the website for a while now.


I had never theme parked for more than a couple of days in a row. This may be why, at around the fourth day or so I felt a bit...overwhelmed. It was unusual to have that much constant stimulation for that long; I admit I actually felt like I needed a break from it. But aside from that - which I got mostly got over anyway - it was an incredibly memorable trip and I find myself reminiscing an awful lot about it. I learned that I need to schedule nap breaks in for Kevin because seriously, he slept on the bus to and from each park. He slept in some of the educational theater shows, and he fell asleep INSTANTLY every night. Usually he does a little fidgeting and a little scratching, but MAN did he fall asleep fast.

So. When can we go again? (!)

Day 44 and the Ballerina

I know the pic is crummy, but I'll take a fresh one tomorrow morning :P
This one is much better... still not great haha!
This is definitely another notch in the lipstick case of girly girly scarves that I've been in the habit of making lately. I blame upcoming Valentine's Day. I don't really celebrate it since I feel that if you love the one you're with, you honor them every day with the little things you do anyway and yet the little hearts and cupids in all the stores have clearly left an impression.

This is a very easy pattern, but what makes it special is the woven detail. It's tulle! And so now you see the namesake. If you haven't heard of it before, tulle is the mesh fabric that is most often used in bridal veils and in the tutus of ballerinas. It is sold at any good fabric store and if you want the best quality, go for the "bridal" tulle.

It doesn't fray, so you can cut it without hemming. In this case, I cut it into strips and wove it through the large eyelets created by the stitch pattern which is written out below. At each end I chose to tie pairs of the tulle into little bows, but a simple overhand knot would work just fine.

Stitch pattern:
Cast on 21 sts.
K 3 rows even.
Eyelet row: *K2 tog, yo* Repeat to last stitch. Knit the last stitch.
Repeat these 4 rows until you have the length you want. Be sure not to make your scarf longer than the length of your tulle.
End with k 3 rows even and bind off.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Day 43 and Lace

Such a very delicate and feminine addition to a wardrobe is this scarf! It wouldn't keep you warm, but it might make you want to warm up to your sweetie.

A different fabric requires different handling. Always, always, always have scrap to practice on when you're working with a delicate fabric like lace. I found I had to loosen the tension all the way to zero on my machine in order to comfortably work with the lace. If you still have trouble, you can sandwich the lace bits between tissue paper and when you're finished sewing, rip the paper away.

Here I used two pieces of a lace panel and laid them side by side. I overlapped just the very edges and sewed very slowly so that the two were connected.

Like I said yesterday, practice practice practice and keep trying new things.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Day 42 and HemmingWay

Yes, it's a pun. As with knitting, crocheting and any piece of handiwork, learning to use your sewing machine and master all of the techniques that can be accomplished with it take practice before you master them. I am not yet proficient with mine, but every time I use it I know I'm getting a little bit better.

Some types of fabric are a little bit tricky to work with. A weave for example unlike a fleece will ravel and fray at the edges if not kept in check. A simple folded hem might be fine for most fabrics, but for a loose weave it might still fray.

For this plain rectangular fabric scarf, I needed to roll the hem. There are sewing machine feet available which will do it for you, but if you don't have one, then the easiest way to think of this hem is twice folded hem. Fold and iron it as if it were a plain hem. Fold it one more time to trap the first fold on the inside and iron and pin if needed. Sew right on down and you're done!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Day 41 and the Hobo

I am forever looking for ways to use up the very short bits that are otherwise going to waste. Along with The Weave, this is an excellent way to use up mismatched weight novelty yarns. I did not even look in my bag of scraps when I choose the colors. With the exception of the white fluffy yarn, the yarn is organized totally randomly.

Since you'll need to estimate the number of yards per row, the easiest way to figure this out is by using the long tail cast on. Start with no less than 5 yards and use your longest circular needles you own. If you have the kind that can be extended, this is a terrific time to use them. There's no need to count. Cast on until the scarf is the length that you want it to be or until you run out of your long tail leaving a few inches for fringe. In this way you know that you must have at least 5 yards for one row of knitting. You may find that 5 yards makes a scarf far longer than you want. When you stop casting on, measure the excess of the long tail. 5 yds minus the excess would then be the measurement you need for each row.

For this exact scarf, I couldn't even tell you what yarns were used, but I did cast on the full 5 yards on size 15 needles for about 10 feet of scarf. I did about 15 rows for a width of 4 inches. You can do this in stockinette, garter, seed stitch, or any pattern stitch you want. Keep in mind however that if you want to do a pattern, you should use smoother yarns so that you can at least see the pattern!

Finally, since your ends are loose, you need to secure them in some way. If you're a tidy fan, you might want to darn all the ends in. I'm not that patient and I found it was plenty sturdy to just wait until I was finished and knot the fringes to the fringes next to it. Simple as that!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Day 40 and the Buttoned Collar

What can I say about this little sweetie? It's cute, it's got one button and one button hole. If you haven't already seen Lucy Neatby's Knitting Gems DVD, then I recommend checking it out. She has a very good demonstration of a self-reinforcing "one-row" button hole that would suit this scarf perfectly!

As much as I love not swatching, this is one where it's necessary. Getting gauge isn't important, but making a practice buttonhole is very useful. Sew your button to something and practice putting it through your swatch buttonhole. You'll know right away if it's too big because it will fit through too easily and you'll know right away if it's too small because you won't get your button in. If you think you have a winner, tug your fabrics. If the button doesn't come loose, then you know you're ready for the real thing. If it does come loose, then you'll need to make your buttonhole smaller and try again.

2 colors Simply Soft held together
10.5 needles
Tapestry needle
Smaller needle to fit button if necessary

Cast on 3
Increase row: Knit into the front and back of first stitch, K 1, Knit into the front and back of last stitch.
Even row: Begin seed stitch pattern and continue throughout. Knit the purls and Purl the knits. The orientation of each stitch should change stitch by stitch.

Complete these 2 rows until you have 21 stitches. Seed one row even.
On the next row seed make your buttonhole at the center of the fabric, keeping your seed stitch even on each side.
Work in seed stitch until the even portion of the scarf is as long as needed to comfortably fit around the neck. Approximately 18-20 inches.

Decrease row: K2tog, Seed stitch to last 2 stitches, K2tog
Even Row: Work seed pattern evening( Knit the purls and purl the knits)
When only 2 stitches remain, bind off.

Sew the button on the last even worked row at the opposite end of the buttonhole for symmetry and darn in any loose ends.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day 39 and the Oneone

This scarf is so named because it was made with one skein in one hour! Ever since I got back from vacation I've been having to make each scarf day to day because I've just been so busy getting back into the swing of everyday life. This is just another way to try to get myself back ahead of the game!

1 skein Lion Homespun
Size 50 needles
Size 15 needles
Crochet hook or tapestry needle.

Cast on 17 with larger needles and longtail method or you'll have a very loose weird beginning and this will also help match the tension of the bind off later.
Stockinette stitch with 2 strands held together throughout. This is a prime moment to learn to knit left-handed because trading needles with such large needles can be a burden. I placed on needle between my legs and used my free left hand to do all the yarn throwing.
When you have 3 yards of yarn left, on a wrong side row switch to size 15 needles.
Purl 2 row.
Cast off loosely.
Switching to the smaller needles prevents a sloppy looking loose bind off and since stitches that are so large and loose are much taller than they are wide, the switch allows the width and height to match just for that last moment when it's needed.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Day 38 and the Princess Charming

The frog closure and cape style drape remind me of the fancy medieval dress you see at renn faires and I really love it! I was sad though that when wearing it you really don't see the preciously little button made from knotted i-cord so I took a bonus picture just for y'all. The body of the piece is very simple as it's just a rectangle and the look comes from the way a rectangle folds when the fabric has the proper drape.

12 oz worsted cotton in main color and 8 yards in contrast color
Size 10.5 needles
Tapestry needle

Main body
Cast on 36 In main color
Row 1, 2: K2, P2 across
Row 3, 4: P2, K2 across
Repeat this simple double seed pattern until you have the length you need. For me it was 20 inches.

Frog closure
Make 4 stitch i cord for 14 inches in contrast color
Cut one piece 7 inches long and graft or sew into a loop. If your seam is not that cute, you can hide it in the center.
Using another piece of contrast yarn, neatly wrap the center of the loop for about an inch and a half or whatever looks right to you and secure ends by knotting them together and hiding the ends in the wrapped section.
Sew one loop to one end of the scarf at the center. The center of the wrapped loop should be at the edge of the knitting.

Take the remaining i-cord and tie and overhand knot loosely. Take one end of i-cord and thread it through the loop one more time to make a star shaped knot. Rip back both ends of the i-cord until they can be sewn together and still hold the star shape. If your connection is not that cute, just work it around and to the back.
Sew the frog button onto the other end of the scarf and use the frog loop for a guide. Keep in mind it will pull a little bit while it is around your neck so go a tiny bit farther than what looks correct.

Hide all your ends and enjoy!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Day 37 and the Chaingang

If you have no time, no yardage, no experience and no heat, then this is the perfect scarf for you to try! It's fast, uses only 1 ball, uses easy stitches and is decepptively warm.
It's nothing but chains and single crochets making it an ideal and fast beginner scarf. I know that when I first start on any craft or skill, I'm always looking for that instant gratification to get me all pumped up for the more involved projects.

1 ball Charisma by Loops and Threads (It's the Michael's house brand. It's actually very soft and comfortable to work with and I recommend it!)
Size N hook (10 mm)
Tapestry needle

Chain 158.
Starter row: Sc in second chain from hook, *Ch 5, Skip 5 chains, SC in 6th chain*Repeat to end.
All following rows: Ch 1, turn, Sc in first sc, *Ch 5, Sc in next sc* Repeat to end.
Sew in your ends.

This took me no time at all. I'd guess 2 hours, tops. If you want to substitute yarns, I suggest using thick fluffy yarns or highly textured yarns for the best results. I love smooth yarns, but worsted weight and thinner seem to result in a somewhat anorexic looking scarf. This would also be an excellent scarf for handspun yarns and especially thick and thin yarns.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Day 36 and Menswear

Edit: Found it! The camera was under a couple of scarves. In hindsight, it was pretty obvious. And darn it, I am having trouble taking decent pictures lately :P

ACK I somehow managed to lose the camera between yesterday and today! I'll search all over tonight.

Today's scarf is already neckwear, but two pieces of neckwear made into one. Yes, those are men's ties. Use a ladder stitch to sew them side by side and I hate to say it, but you're pretty much stuck with hand sewing for this.

I placed the skinny end of one by the fat end of the other so the scarf was symmetrical, but there's no reason you can't have a fat on one end and thin on the other end wedge scarf. I think this is also ripe for embellishment. It's really just begging for some crazy quilt embroidery along the edges.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Day 35 and Finished!

This weird name was picked because it perfectly describes this scarf's incredibly fast construction!

Nothing helps you make a deadline like a giant gauge! This scarf was made with a size P crochet hook and 5 strands of "baby weight" yarn, 3 oz each. It's really fingering weight, but I know you knitters and crocheters know what I'm talking about. It's the thinner-than-sport yarn that's marketed for baby items and usually comes in pastel colors and also often has one strand of metallic tinsel. Baby weight. Let it be known.

For this scarf I chained 150 and ended up with a 10 foot scarf. You may want to adjust if you prefer something shorter. Also after 4 rows I had about 4 inches of width. On average you can assume that a double crochet stitch is about an inch tall.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Day 34 and the Ruffles

This is very very easy, but rather time consuming.

2 skeins Homespun
Size K hook
Tapestry needle

Chain as many as you'd like. Just toss that chain around your neck to decide if it's long enough or not. Mine was about 10 feet, but yours could be any length at all!
Row 1: DC into 4th chain from hook and into each chain.
Row 2: Ch 3, turn, DC twice into each DC.
Row 3: Ch 3, turn, DC twice into each DC.

This would make a slender single ruffle. For the ruffle on both sides as pictured here, slip stitch down the edge to the bottom row and complete rows 2 and 3 along the opposite edge of the scarf.

BLAH!!! Wouldn't you know it? I finished the entire post before I left for work and then didn't hit publish!! Thank goodness my sleeping computer still saved it!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Day 33 and the Stairway to Heaven

A very easy way to make zig zag edges is to bind off at one end and cast on at the other end of a row. Here I did so with 7 stitches every 12th row and used a 3 by 3 rib offset by one stitch so that it moved on the diagonal.

My advice about this method of edging is to stick with knit and purl patterns that are easily read. Doing this with cables or laces can be a bit of a muddle if you don't know your pattern inside and out. Alternately, you could use any pattern that had the same number of stitches in the repeat as in the bind off and cast on. For example if your pattern was an allover cable that twisted every 6 stitches and you didn't use any selvage stitches, you would them make sure that when you did the stairstep it too was a 6 stitch bind off and a 6 stitch cast on so as not to interrupt the pattern.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

What I've learned

I'm one twelfth of the way through The 365 Scarf Project and I feel I've earned a moment of reflection.

I've learned that sewing and crafting are infinitely faster than either knitting or crocheting.

I've learned that knitting and crocheting take up a whole lot less space than sewing or crafting. I sure do wish I had room to leave my sewing machine out all the time instead of having to pack it up in the closet just to have the living room back.

I've learned that a scarf takes up a lot of space in a home (haha! I will soon have no room in my closet for my clothing. I need to rent a POD or something!).

I've learned that planning ahead saves last minute panicky scrambling. It also allows me to do some fun finicky scarves. I really do enjoy making very delicate lace and intricate cables, but they take so much time that I have to have many many daily scarves saved up just to have the time to make a more intricate one. If you haven't already guessed, I HAVE made each and every scarf within the confines of this year, but I have NOT made each one day to day.

I've learned that it's hard to think up designs for men that don't bore me to death! It's not that I don't like neutral colors. I love them! It's more that making something look manly generally means making it basic. Small textures, no lace, no crazy color work. I know some men would love that sort of thing, but for the most part, it's hard to make a design new and different.

I've learned that having a friend or a follower watching you in your goal is very very motivating and I'm grateful for it.


I've learned that I LOVE not having to swatch! Shameful isn't it? Even with a scarf, I know I should, but Pfft forget it! Straight to the main event!

Day 32 and the Shell Belt

I had wanted to make this even wider, but sometimes the yardage of your yarn is your biggest enemy. Therefore I present another type of keyhole, the end loop or the belt style. Here I have crocheted a side to side scarf, but it was rather short as I knew there wasn't enough yarn for a traditional style scarf, so I made it as long and as wide as I could and when another row would certainly not work, I chained and attached it via slip stitch to the beginning row to make a loop at the end. The loop was neither sturdy nor attractive, so with the little yarn I had left, I turned the work and did another row of shells. That's the gist of it. Following is a slightly more legible pattern.

125 yds worsted weight yarn
Size J hook
Tapestry needle.
Shell = (2 dc, ch1, 2dc) All into same stitch

Chain (multiples of 4) 138
Row 1: Shell into 4th chain from hook, (Skip 3 ch, Shell into next chain) to end of row.
Row 2-6: (Ch 3, Shell into Ch 1 space of shell below) to end of row.
Loop row 1: Chain 18, slip into chain loop of first row. Chain 3, turn.
Loop row 2: Shell into 1st chain, skip 3 ch, shell into next chain, skip 3 ch, 3 dc into next ch, ch 1, 3 dc into next chain, skip 3 ch, shell into next chain, skip 3 ch, shell into next chain, Slip stitch into 2nd DC of 6th shell row, turn.
Loop row 3: Slip stitch into every stitch including chains. At the end of the row, slip stitch into chain loop of 1st shall row, tie off and hide your ends.

I kept a longer end and hid my final end by threading it through the chain loop to reinforce it. If you tend to chain very tightly, you may not feel that it's necessary and that's okkay too!